International News Digest

After eight years as director of the Office for Contemporary Art, Norway, Marta Kuzma has announced that she's leaving the organization. At the OCA, Kuzma was responsible for curating exhibitions including “Big Sign—Little Building” and “Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?” She also served as cocurator of Manifesta 5 in Spain, was the founding director of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art in Kiev, Ukraine, and previously ran the exhibitions program at the International Center of Photography in New York. Last year, she worked as part of the Documenta 13 curatorial team. Kuzma told artforum.com that she’s decided to depart after finishing her second term at the OCA in order to “dedicate time to research, writing, and teaching.”

In other news from Oslo, Emily Sharpe reported for the Art Newspaper that the city’s government has approved plans for the Munch Museum to move to a new glass structure on the city’s waterfront—a full four years after Herreros Arquitectos, the Spanish architectural firm, first unveiled designs for the museum’s new building. The plans provoked the ire of local politicians, who opposed both the museum’s new location and its estimated cost of $273 million. The decision to move forward “shows that even the starkest political opponents can put aside their differences for the [common] good,” said Hallstein Bjercke, the city’s commissioner for culture and industry.

Monopol took a look at the life and collection of Charles Saatchi on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, noting that the advertising magnate, who usually shies away from interviews, has in his later years seemed increasingly “concerned about his legacy in the art world.” Monopol reminded readers that, in a 2012 interview with The Guardian, Saatchi himself joked that his “whole career is a triumph of style over content.” After founding the renowned advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi with his brother in 1970, the collector helped foster the careers of the Young British Artists, and later turned his interest to German artists. “Without Charles Saatchi, there would be no contemporary art,” said Damien Hirst in a recent interview with BBC. However, Monopol notes that Saatchi’s style will long be associated with his penchant for the “shrill and shocking.” It’s perhaps this reason that his attempts to donate his collection, which is estimated to be worth nearly $50 million, have been futile: Both the British State and the Tate Modern have cordially turned down his art. According to media reports, Saatchi may be considering the option of transferring his collection to a newly formed foundation.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz has been named the recipient of this year’s Prince of Asturias award, according to Der Standard. Considered to be the “Nobel Prize of Spain,” the prize, worth over $60,000, honors Leibovitz in the communication and human sciences division. The jury applauded her dynamic, international photojournalism, choosing her over contestant Christiane Amanpour of CNN. Leibovitz joins previous winners such as architect Norman Foster and singer Bob Dylan.